1. The Exchange: To Our Flags
  2. The Exchange: The Negro Speaks of Dryland
  3. The Exchange: blue is darker than Black
  4. The Exchange: Sans Fleur
  5. The Exchange: Blindspot
  6. The Exchange: Her.
  7. The Exchange: Lint
  8. The Exchange: Reality Check
  9. The Exchange: Caution
  10. The Exchange: Rubik’s Cube
  11. The Exchange: The Path
  12. The Exchange: sTREEtS
  13. The Exchange: Butter
  14. The Exchange: The Bright Side
  15. The Exchange: Concrete to Shoreline
  16. This Empty Cage
  17. Paper Machete
  18. The Exchange: Marketplace
  19. The Exchange: One Year Anniversary
  20. The Exchange: Sunscreen Affective Disorder (SAD) 
  21. The Exchange: Immigration & Culture
  22. The Exchange: Love, Street Cleaning, & Other Myths
  23. The Exchange: An Accent Enters a Room and Says Good Morning
  24. The Exchange: An ode to Oceania
  25. The Exchange: Happy New Year
  26. The Exchange: NEW GROOVE/LODESTAR
  27. The Exchange: Wolves, Strides, and Landslides
  28. The Exchange: Honest Haikus
  29. The Exchange: Foreheads, Haikus and More
  30. The Exchange: Softness, Water Bottles, and Movie Theaters
  31. The Exchange: Algae and Understanding
  32. The Exchange: we like it here!
  33. The Exchange: tag & waiting
  34. The Exchange: spare
  35. The Exchange: Marketplace
  36. The Exchange: some coffee
  37. The Exchange: A Scary Story
  38. The Exchange: Consumer Report
  39. The Exchange: Affirmations and Sunflowers
  40. The Exchange: Autopay and A Fast Summer
  41. The Exchange: Squirrels and The White
  42. The Exchange: The Taj Mahal and Rutina de Sueño
  43. The Exchange: The Garden
  44. The Exchange: Jess Taught Me My Body Is Trying Its Best
  45. The Exchange: Jollof Rice and Losing it
  46. The Rotation

The Exchange is the Weekly’s poetry corner, where a poem or piece of writing is presented with a prompt. Readers are welcome to respond to the prompt with original poems, and pieces may be featured in the next issue of the Weekly.

The Taj Mahal by Chima “Naira” Ikoro

the taj mahal is not much different than a balloon release
we do what we can with whatever we have
in remembrance of whoever we don’t have anymore.

some of us make a mosque that becomes one of the modern seven wonders of the world
some of us tie together shoe strings and toss them over powerlines.

but none of this has ever brought anyone back.
not even this building, he must have thought to himself.
but I will let these balloons go just in case.

tourists post drake lyrics they threw into google translate
as captions for photos they took in front of what many don’t know is a resting place
someone is sleeping here, we ought to be quiet.

somewhere in psalm, the workers labor in vain unless God builds the house
explains why no matter how much i make in remembrance, i cannot rebuild you
cannot weld my memories together and make a human
cannot fashion you back into existence.

none of this will bring you back, but just in case it matters at all
i will build this. maybe it will help.

and the workers labor in vain.

✶ ✶ ✶ ✶


“How do you show love or appreciation for people, places, or things you are physically apart from?”

This could be a poem, journal entry, or a stream-of-consciousness piece. Submissions could be new or formerly written pieces.

Submissions can be sent to bit.ly/ssw-exchange or via email to chima.ikoro@southsideweekly.com

✶ ✶ ✶ ✶

Featured below is a reader response to a previous prompt. The last poem and prompt can be found online.

Rutina de Sueño by Jocelyn Martinez-Rosales

Se ha vuelto cotidiano que me despierte mi corazón
Se me quiere salir por la garganta
Le crece piernas en mis sueños
Jalonea mis venas queriendo desatarse
Quiere correr hacia ti

✶ ✶ ✶ ✶

Chima Ikoro is the Weekly’s Community Builder.

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